SS1.08 Sensory Ecology, Neurophysiology and Behavior of Zooplankton
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002
Time: 11:45:00 AM
Location: Carson B
 
SchroederT, Dartmouth College, Department of Biological Sciences, Hanover, NH 03755, USA, Thomas.Schroeder@Dartmouth.edu
 
MATE RECOGNITION BEHAVIOR IN EPIPHANES SENTA (MONOGONONTA, ROTIFERA)
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Epiphanes senta is a benthic rotifer species that occurs in temporary waters and displays a mating behavior which has not been described for monogonont rotifers so far. Monogonont rotifers show destinctive periods within their life cycle during which mictic females appear. Mictic females produce haploid eggs which develop into males or into diapausing eggs if fertilized. The females of Epiphanes senta are mostly stationary on the substrate while males are more active swimmers. If they encounter eggs with female embryos of their own species, they attend them and mate with the hatching female. Experiments showed that males are able to distinguish between male, female and diapausing eggs. They exhibit a strong preference for female eggs which are only a few hours away from hatching compared to eggs in early developmental stages. Further experiments did not show any significant differences in male attendance of mictic and amictic eggs. The described mating behavior is compared to that known from planktonic species and its ecological implications are discussed.